The Cruise Report, 2015 Version

      86 Comments on The Cruise Report, 2015 Version

John F. Kennedy once introduced himself to a crowd in France as “the man who accompanied Mrs. Kennedy to Paris.” I can relate, sort of. I just returned from a low-carb cruise where I was one of the featured speakers, yet I’m tempted to introduce myself as “the man who accompanied Sara and Alana Naughton to the Caribbean.”

They were, after all, invited to sit down for more on-camera interviews than I was. I’m reasonably sure it’s because they’re cuter than I am. At least I hope that’s the reason.

Anyway, this was the first family vacation where the girls got to act like small adults, setting their own schedules and coming and going as they pleased. They even had their own room. Chareva and I booked the trip a bit on the late side, so there weren’t any family-sized rooms available. We looked at photos of how Royal Caribbean squeezes four beds into a standard room, which convinced us to book two rooms. I love my girls and want to keep it that way.

In my cruise report from two years ago, I wrote about Dr. Jay Wortman’s delightful and exceptionally bright daughter Isabella, a.k.a. Issy. When I learned she’d be joining him again on this year’s cruise, I predicted my girls would flip over her. Indeed they did. Actually, it was mutual flips all around. They were pretty much the Three Musketeers for the entire cruise. Here they are lounging together on the first day aboard:

And here are shots of the how the girls I accompanied to the Caribbean spent the rest of the week:

(That’s Chareva rock-climbing above.)

That’s part of the girls’ week, anyway.  And now for the rest of us …

Meals and Table Mates

Truth be told, I thought the food on the previous Carnival cruises was better. More variety, bigger steaks, and more options late at night. But the food on our Royal Caribbean ship (the Independence of the Seas) was still very good.

We were fortunate to share a dinner table with two old friends and two new ones. At right in the picture below is Howard Harkness, a fellow programmer and blogger I’ve known for three years now. (Check out his N=1 Health blog.) At left is Fredrik Soederlund, a major in the Swedish Air Force and a first-timer aboard the low-carb cruise.

For most of his career, Major Soederlund was a flight engineer on helicopters. Now his job is to work with military members who are suffering from health issues such as obesity and diabetes. I’m pretty sure you can guess what kind of diet he recommends.

Not surprisingly, Major Soederlund thinks like an engineer. So as he explained over dinner, when he sees someone who’s obese, he doesn’t assume he’s looking at a weak-willed person who chooses to eat too much. He wants to know what’s gone wrong with the system and how to fix it. We need more people with that mindset, as I explained way back in a post titled What If Mechanics And Nutritionists Switched Jobs?

At far right in the picture below is Georgene Harkness, Howard’s wife. Like Howard, she’s been our cruise buddy for three years now. Next to her is another Swede, Leopold Roos.

You might be wondering what’s up with all the Swedes on these low-carb cruises. Well, as you probably know, there’s been a low-carb, high-fat revolution in Sweden. One of the rock stars of the movement is Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, who recently decided (correctly, I believe) that he can do more good by promoting a low-carb, real-food diet than by treating one patient at a time. So he gave up his practice to focus on producing way more content for his expanded Diet Doctor blog.  He’s also licensing content to make available to members … Fat Head, for example.

Many of the Swedes aboard this year’s cruise (including Leopold) are members of the production team. Click here to hear Dr. Eenfeldt explain what’s happening on the new site, which has already drawn 10,000 members.

Night Life

As on previous cruises, many of us ended up gathering in the same bar after dinner to socialize. Like I said, the food was a bit better on the previous Carnival cruises, but I still preferred this Royal Caribbean ship overall – largely because the Royal Caribbean folks seem to grasp that sometimes people like to sit in a quiet area and talk. Carnival, by contrast, insisted on putting a loud band or musician in every space where people might gather.

The quiet place on this ship was the Champagne Bar. Here are a few shots from the after-dinner socializing.

The Seminars

As you probably know, the low-carb cruise is part vacation, part health seminar. Port days are for excursions and general fun, while the at-sea days are for presentations. On Monday afternoon I gave my presentation, which was a slideshow version of what will eventually be chapter three in the book Chareva and I are producing.

Here’s the book cover, at least as Chareva envisions it for now.

The chapter I presented as a speech is titled Getting fat isn’t about character. It’s about chemistry. It’s a kid-friendly version of the ideas I wrote about in last year’s series of posts titled Character vs. Chemistry. Here are some of the slides featuring Chareva’s drawings.

The speech went well, and the many comments I received throughout the week should keep me inspired to finish writing the rest of the book.

It would take forever to describe every presentation, so I’ll just copy and paste the list of speakers and topics from Jimmy Moore’s blog:

Monday, May 25, 2015
Dr. Keith Runyan – Management of Diabetes with a Ketogenic Diet
Dr. Eric Westman — HEAL Diabetes Medical & Weight Loss Clinics
Dr. Justin Marchiagiani – Hormonal Imbalances and the Blood Sugar Connection
Dana Carpender – ADD, Addiction and Obesity
Tom Naughton – Konvincing Kids that Kalorie Kounting is Kooky
Dr. Eric Westman – A Brief History of the Treatment of Diabetes
Dr. Philip Blair and Nancy Weber – Remote Low-Carb Healthcare
Dr. Jayson and Mira Calton – Micronutrient Miracle: How Real Food, Smart Supplementation, and Intelligent Lifestyle Habits Enhance Your Ketogenic Diet
Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt – The Food Revolution

Friday, May 29, 2015
Dr. Ann Childers – Stone Age Body, Space Age Diet: Food, Mood and Brain Health
Jackie Eberstein – Weight loss struggles of women over 50
Cassie Bjork – Non-Diet Reasons Why You Might Not Be Losing Weight and Getting Healthy
Caitlin Weeks and Nabil Boumar – How to Incorporate The Best of The Mediterranean Diet into your Low Carb Plan
Glen Finkel — Low-Carb Adapted Presentation
Michel Lundell – Why I Created The Ketonix Breath Ketone Meter
Jimmy Moore – 12 Things We Got All Wrong About Cholesterol And Ketosis
Jamie Caporosso – Keto-Paleo and Athletes
Emily Maguire – A Hitchhiker’s Guide To LCHF Around The World – My Journey So Far
Dr. Jay Wortman – Vested interests conspire against LCHF

Saturday, May 30, 2015
Dr. Michael Fox – Women, Hormones and Nutrition
Dr. Jose Lozado – Low-carb diet and cancer prevention
Q&A Session #1 (speakers from Day 1)
Q&A Session #2 (speakers from Days 2 & 3)

At some point, the speeches and slides will be made available online. I’ll try to remember to let you know when that happens. The bottom line is that, as usual, there was a wealth of information in the presentations.

The Flip Side of Dog-Tired Satisfied

When Sara was two, she plopped down next to me on the sofa one day and asked what I was doing.

“I’m reading a book,” I replied. “What are you doing?”

She considered for a moment, then answered, “I’m just wearing clothes.”

I’m just wearing clothes immediately entered the family vernacular as a way of saying I’m not doing anything at all.

As you can probably guess if you’re a regular reader, I’m a busy guy. Way busy. I’m a full-time programmer dealing with complex systems that can be mentally taxing. I write blog posts and answer almost all the comments, along with a ton of emails. I’m researching and writing a book, a chunk of which I just rewrote as my cruise speech. I spend most of my weekends doing manual labor around our land, going out and working myself into a state Dog-Tired Satisfied.

I’m not complaining, mind you. I chose this life. Hell, I love this life. But there’s not much downtime, and by the time the cruise rolled around, I could feel a bit of burnout creeping in.

So I didn’t jam-pack my schedule during the cruise. We took a guided tour on St. Kitt’s that occupied most of one day. We went ashore in Puerto Rico on another day and poked around for maybe an hour. There were the three seminar sessions, dinners every night, socializing in the Champagne Bar afterwards.

But believe it not, there were plenty of other hours in the week. I spent many of those hours in my room alone while Chareva took the girls rock-climbing, boogie-boarding, shopping, or whatever. I took naps. I read part of a novel. I even lay awake on the bed, staring at the ceiling, daydreaming. Several times I thought to myself, This is awesome. I’m just wearing clothes.

Exactly what I needed. But it’s good to be back.

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86 thoughts on “The Cruise Report, 2015 Version

  1. Jeanne

    What a fabulous event. I hope to join you all some day. In the meantime, you’ve given plenty to do, following up the links you posted, etc.
    By the way, I’ve tried to buy the ketonix breath ketone meter on Amazon, and they say its discontinued. Does Mr.Lundell market it directly?

    Reply
  2. Don in Arkansas

    Not a thing wrong with ‘just wearing clothes’. I think I may have just added another item to my phrase book. Thanks. The problem is when people make just wearing clothes their full-time job.

    Reply
  3. Firebird

    I’m surprised the Jaminet’s didn’t do a lecture on safe starches. It seems a bone of contention between them and Dr. William Davis. Davis still argues that white rice and tapioca starch are bad for you, though he does agree with green bananas and potato starch. It’s a weird dynamic.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      The Jaminets weren’t speakers on the cruise, but yes, that would be a good debate. Dr. Davis still prefers a very low starch content in the diet, but with the addition of some resistant starch.

      Reply
  4. Jes Brevoort

    Your talk was excellent Tom. Certainly one of the more universally comprehendable and engaging talks. Now I just have to figure out how to trick my family into watching it when it becomes available. Keep up the awesome work.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Thank you. It’s WAAAAY important to me that I can explain this stuff so kids can wrap their little brains around it.

      Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        Make it for children and maybe even doctors *might* understand.

        Or maybe their children can explain it to them.

        Reply
  5. Armando

    The cruise seems like fun! Maybe I should give it a try someday, but then again, I tend to get sea sick. After reading both Gary Taubes books, reading Dr. Malcolm Kendrick’s book and other materials, that blaming someone for being fat is wrong. The human body is way more complex than what most doctors and nutrionist lead their clients to believe.

    A long while back after having surgery for a cancer, I was told to consult a nutrionist for diet guidance, so I did. I gave them 400$ for 6 visits. They recommend that I should be eating 1700 calories a day. At that time, I was a meter reader and would walk about 8-15 miles a day. So in the end of the day, I was exhausted my legs and feet were aching. I was keeping my calories within the 1700 target, but I was always hungry. They had those machines that measure your fat and muscle percentage. Before starting their diet, I was 31kg of fat and 37kg of muscle. After 2 weeks of doing their diet, my fat was 33kg and muscle was about 34kg. I did not understand why this happening and neither did the nutrionist. They were recommending that I should exercise for 30 minutes a day. I got angry when they suggest this, considering I was walking 8-15 miles a day. That was not enough for them. Luckily there are people like you Tom that is trying to educate the masses along with the others(Jimmy, Diet Doctor, Gary, Dr. Kendrick and others).

    Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        Ah, move more. i’ve seen plenty of fat people doing heavy physical labor, like construction and road maintenance. Hell, I worked heavy manual labor one summer and didn’t lose weight. Maybe I was then only a glutton???

        When I taught as a graduate assistant, I was then a glutton AND sloth???

        Reply
      1. Craig Rich

        I wish walking really was the fat-burning cure the “experts” tell us about. I was a lot attendant at Home Depot for 5 years. I was 250lbs at 33% bodyfat. My job was to collect all the carts on the lot and load all the heavy stuff for eight hours a day. I loaded tons of cement, lumber, bricks, etc., along with walking the lot throughout the day gathering carts. I lost about 10 pounds the first month and that’s about it, and gained some of it back. The whole “move more” just made me hungry and tired. That’s why “Fat Head” was such a great revelation.

        Reply
        1. Walter Bushell

          Exercise without a low carb diet is remarkably ineffective for weight loss.

          I may need to do a lot to shed those tough last 50-60 pounds.

          Reply
  6. Jeanne

    What a fabulous event. I hope to join you all some day. In the meantime, you’ve given plenty to do, following up the links you posted, etc.
    By the way, I’ve tried to buy the ketonix breath ketone meter on Amazon, and they say its discontinued. Does Mr.Lundell market it directly?

    Reply
  7. Don in Arkansas

    Not a thing wrong with ‘just wearing clothes’. I think I may have just added another item to my phrase book. Thanks. The problem is when people make just wearing clothes their full-time job.

    Reply
  8. Rae Ford

    Thanks for the photos and summary of your trip. I especially like the cartoon of how the fat-shaming bullies “grow up” to become a doctor, (what I’m guessing is) a nutritionist, and a personal trainer. Art literally imitating life.

    Reply
  9. Firebird

    I’m surprised the Jaminet’s didn’t do a lecture on safe starches. It seems a bone of contention between them and Dr. William Davis. Davis still argues that white rice and tapioca starch are bad for you, though he does agree with green bananas and potato starch. It’s a weird dynamic.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      The Jaminets weren’t speakers on the cruise, but yes, that would be a good debate. Dr. Davis still prefers a very low starch content in the diet, but with the addition of some resistant starch.

      Reply
  10. Jes Brevoort

    Your talk was excellent Tom. Certainly one of the more universally comprehendable and engaging talks. Now I just have to figure out how to trick my family into watching it when it becomes available. Keep up the awesome work.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Thank you. It’s WAAAAY important to me that I can explain this stuff so kids can wrap their little brains around it.

      Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        Make it for children and maybe even doctors *might* understand.

        Or maybe their children can explain it to them.

        Reply
  11. Armando

    The cruise seems like fun! Maybe I should give it a try someday, but then again, I tend to get sea sick. After reading both Gary Taubes books, reading Dr. Malcolm Kendrick’s book and other materials, that blaming someone for being fat is wrong. The human body is way more complex than what most doctors and nutrionist lead their clients to believe.

    A long while back after having surgery for a cancer, I was told to consult a nutrionist for diet guidance, so I did. I gave them 400$ for 6 visits. They recommend that I should be eating 1700 calories a day. At that time, I was a meter reader and would walk about 8-15 miles a day. So in the end of the day, I was exhausted my legs and feet were aching. I was keeping my calories within the 1700 target, but I was always hungry. They had those machines that measure your fat and muscle percentage. Before starting their diet, I was 31kg of fat and 37kg of muscle. After 2 weeks of doing their diet, my fat was 33kg and muscle was about 34kg. I did not understand why this happening and neither did the nutrionist. They were recommending that I should exercise for 30 minutes a day. I got angry when they suggest this, considering I was walking 8-15 miles a day. That was not enough for them. Luckily there are people like you Tom that is trying to educate the masses along with the others(Jimmy, Diet Doctor, Gary, Dr. Kendrick and others).

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      That’s what they do to people: set them up to fail, then blame them for the failure.

      Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        Ah, move more. i’ve seen plenty of fat people doing heavy physical labor, like construction and road maintenance. Hell, I worked heavy manual labor one summer and didn’t lose weight. Maybe I was then only a glutton???

        When I taught as a graduate assistant, I was then a glutton AND sloth???

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I noticed that when we moved here. Our movers were doing heavy labor for several hours a day. That’s their job. With one exception, they were also quite fat. Strong as oxes, but fat.

          Reply
      1. Craig Rich

        I wish walking really was the fat-burning cure the “experts” tell us about. I was a lot attendant at Home Depot for 5 years. I was 250lbs at 33% bodyfat. My job was to collect all the carts on the lot and load all the heavy stuff for eight hours a day. I loaded tons of cement, lumber, bricks, etc., along with walking the lot throughout the day gathering carts. I lost about 10 pounds the first month and that’s about it, and gained some of it back. The whole “move more” just made me hungry and tired. That’s why “Fat Head” was such a great revelation.

        Reply
        1. Walter Bushell

          Exercise without a low carb diet is remarkably ineffective for weight loss.

          I may need to do a lot to shed those tough last 50-60 pounds.

          Reply
  12. Rae Ford

    Thanks for the photos and summary of your trip. I especially like the cartoon of how the fat-shaming bullies “grow up” to become a doctor, (what I’m guessing is) a nutritionist, and a personal trainer. Art literally imitating life.

    Reply
  13. Ulfric Douglas

    Smart beard goes well with the suit & tie : now pics shovelling pig manure in said suit and smart beard.

    Good writeup, Chareva looks very attractive in pic Number 17 …
    Blimey there’s a lot of pics!

    Reply
  14. Ulfric Douglas

    Smart beard goes well with the suit & tie : now pics shovelling pig manure in said suit and smart beard.

    Good writeup, Chareva looks very attractive in pic Number 17 …
    Blimey there’s a lot of pics!

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I hadn’t worn the suit in two years. Never occurred to me to try it for farm work.

      Reply
  15. Arturo

    Welcome back, Tom, glad you, Chareva and the kids enjoyed yourselves! Can’t wait to see your presentation online, I still love watching Science for Smart People from time to time.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Thank you. I’m holding off on putting the presentation online, since it’s a chapter from a book we’re not ready to release for awhile.

      Reply
  16. Arturo

    Welcome back, Tom, glad you, Chareva and the kids enjoyed yourselves! Can’t wait to see your presentation online, I still love watching Science for Smart People from time to time.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Thank you. I’m holding off on putting the presentation online, since it’s a chapter from a book we’re not ready to release for awhile.

      Reply
      1. Firebird

        Did the girls put together a Fat Head kids video of the trip? It’s been a while since they’ve produced something.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          No, but they’d like to do more Fat Head Kids’ Club episodes this summer. That of course means they need me to shoot and edit.

          Reply
  17. Becky

    Doing nothing sometimes … a necessary nutrient, I think!

    Your recap is great, fun pictures! I was hoping for more info about the cruise FOOD, but … perhaps that was not the Big Focus on this cruise like it is on regular ones.

    The book is a great idea. Starting young is so key. I’m always afraid of saying to heart patients (so many of them in my generation now!) that they need saturated fat … and fewer carbs … and then having them try it and collapse of a heart attack from the decades of previous lifestyle stuff. A friend’s husband (they went vegan years back) is having heart issues now but by golly keeping on with the vegan is sure to cure it! All that said, there is still much we don’t know. So we carry on.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      That’s a fear among doctors who understand this stuff too. Dr. Eades once told me his biggest concern while in practice was that he’d tell a patient to dump the grains and eat more saturated fat, then the guy dies of heart disease that was building up for years, then some lawyer turns into “your diet killed him.”

      Reply
  18. Becky

    Doing nothing sometimes … a necessary nutrient, I think!

    Your recap is great, fun pictures! I was hoping for more info about the cruise FOOD, but … perhaps that was not the Big Focus on this cruise like it is on regular ones.

    The book is a great idea. Starting young is so key. I’m always afraid of saying to heart patients (so many of them in my generation now!) that they need saturated fat … and fewer carbs … and then having them try it and collapse of a heart attack from the decades of previous lifestyle stuff. A friend’s husband (they went vegan years back) is having heart issues now but by golly keeping on with the vegan is sure to cure it! All that said, there is still much we don’t know. So we carry on.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      That’s a fear among doctors who understand this stuff too. Dr. Eades once told me his biggest concern while in practice was that he’d tell a patient to dump the grains and eat more saturated fat, then the guy dies of heart disease that was building up for years, then some lawyer turns into “your diet killed him.”

      Reply
      1. Nowhereman10

        So how come when people like Steve Jobs or whoever dies on their vegan diet we don’t see any lawyers ready to to sue because “your diet killed him”?

        Reply
          1. Walter Bushell

            Standard of care. Inside a doc is practically legally invulnerable. Horrible to be a doctor these days, if you practice medicine, you are likely to be sued for more than you’re worth and have your license lifted.

            Bummer.

            Reply
  19. Amy Dungan

    Just wearing clothes. I love that! I didn’t get as much down time as I’d like on this cruise, although I did go back to the room one afternoon during the talks and just nap. I hated missing anyone’s presentation, but I was exhausted mentally and physically. It was a good nap. 🙂
    I agree on the food. But overall it was a great trip and I’m looking forward to next year!

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Not that the food was bad by any means — and no head waiter singing Air Supply songs off-key. That counts for something.

      Reply
  20. Amy Dungan

    Just wearing clothes. I love that! I didn’t get as much down time as I’d like on this cruise, although I did go back to the room one afternoon during the talks and just nap. I hated missing anyone’s presentation, but I was exhausted mentally and physically. It was a good nap. 🙂
    I agree on the food. But overall it was a great trip and I’m looking forward to next year!

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Not that the food was bad by any means — and no head waiter singing Air Supply songs off-key. That counts for something.

      Reply
      1. ngyoung

        Speaking of food. Does the cruise line for these low carb cruises change some of their food options knowing there is a large number of low carb occupants? or is there just enough variety to choose from to maintain your usual choice of diet. I think I remember a past one you writing a comment about them serving heavy cream with coffee which usually isn’t available at a typical restaurant setting.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          There’s so much variety on the buffets and on the dinner menus, they don’t need to make special accommodations for us. This ship had half-and-half for coffee, but that’s fine with me. A few grams of lactose won’t kill me.

          Reply
  21. Debbie

    Responding to Jeanne above from June 5th about obtaining the Ketonix – I, too, had been trying to purchase the Ketonix on both Michel Lundell’s site and Amazon and it was out of stock. I was on the LCC cruise and had been also waiting til after the cruise to join the paid portion of Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt’s blog because I didn’t want to lose two weeks’ worth of free content while on the cruise and the week (after extending our visit on the East coast)-then when I was poking around his site, there was a $25 discount on the Ketonix with a link to the Ketonix site with some available. I’m not suggesting you join Diet Doctor (first month free) just to get the discounted Ketonix, but that was the way I ” stumbled” onto it. To my knowledge, it hasn’t shipped; however, I feel secure knowing I have been able to order it! BTW, Tom, I enjoyed visiting with you and your lovely wife about raising farm animals. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions or insights of your own you’d like to share with us.

    Reply
  22. Debbie

    Responding to Jeanne above from June 5th about obtaining the Ketonix – I, too, had been trying to purchase the Ketonix on both Michel Lundell’s site and Amazon and it was out of stock. I was on the LCC cruise and had been also waiting til after the cruise to join the paid portion of Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt’s blog because I didn’t want to lose two weeks’ worth of free content while on the cruise and the week (after extending our visit on the East coast)-then when I was poking around his site, there was a $25 discount on the Ketonix with a link to the Ketonix site with some available. I’m not suggesting you join Diet Doctor (first month free) just to get the discounted Ketonix, but that was the way I ” stumbled” onto it. To my knowledge, it hasn’t shipped; however, I feel secure knowing I have been able to order it! BTW, Tom, I enjoyed visiting with you and your lovely wife about raising farm animals. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions or insights of your own you’d like to share with us.

    Reply
  23. DebbieC

    Great photos, great report. Looks like the girls had a blast. If you’ve never been on the LC cruise you should try it. I went on three and loved them, but it sounds like I’d enjoy Royal Caribbean more than Carnival. I yearned for quite places just to sit and talk in the evenings.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      I saw in the Low Carb Cruise Facebook group that Debbie Hubbs is making arrangements for a private room for our group after the dinners. That should make it easy for us to have that quiet place.

      Reply
  24. DebbieC

    Great photos, great report. Looks like the girls had a blast. If you’ve never been on the LC cruise you should try it. I went on three and loved them, but it sounds like I’d enjoy Royal Caribbean more than Carnival. I yearned for quite places just to sit and talk in the evenings.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I saw in the Low Carb Cruise Facebook group that Debbie Hubbs is making arrangements for a private room for our group after the dinners. That should make it easy for us to have that quiet place.

      Reply

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